This Blog is about asking questions of God. Particularly in the hypothetical situation of discussing his decisions with him as they are being made in real time somewhat in the tradition of Genesis 18:16-33 and 1 Kings 22:17-22.
The word used in the Bible for the devil – Satan, literally means opposer or resister (Hebrew: הַשָּׂטָן ha-Satan, the opposer). It’s not a proper name but like many names used in the Bible it’s descriptive. The first real mention of Satan is in Job. The Serpent in the Garden of Eden doesn’t count because there is no mention of anything else. The idea of it being Satan or a tool of Satan originated much later. Only Revelation tells us that Satan is the original serpent. The concept of a devil most likely began in Persia by the Zoroastrians from which the ancient Jews borrowed the concept.
There is a mention of Satan in 1 Chronicles 21:1 but it is generally agreed that this is an interpolation designed to explain the embarrassing notion that it was in fact God who tempted David as the parallel account in 2 Samuel 24:1 says. The term satan is used in other places but used to mean simply a resister. The expression Ha Satan uses the definite article and so is literally translated The Satan; being used as a proper noun, a name or title. It is in the Book of Job that it is used most frequently in the Hebrew Bible and here that the concept of who in fact he is, is spelled out for us.
A clear, dispassionate reading of the text would give the impression not that God and Ha Satan are enemies but that Ha Satan is just another angel who’s job it is to resist; to question; to oppose the status quo. In fact some suggest that Ha Satan could simply be translated The Prosecuting Attorney. Which is exactly the role he seems to fulfill in the book of Job.
God or Yahweh seems very pleased with Job. And the devil is in the general assembly of the angels and is asked where he has been. Although an odd question for God to have to asked there seems no indication that Yahweh has a problem with what Ha Satan is doing. ‘Have you seen Job in your walk about? Isn’t he great for serving me?’ Yeah but lets ask why he’s doing it, shall we? After all I am Ha Satan. That’s my job right?
And of course you know the story from here. Or if you don’t, just read the first two chapters of Job and you’ll find out. But the point here is that it seems that in the court of Yahweh, God, Jehovah, whatever you like to call him had a place for a Prosecuting Attorney. One who questioned things. Who asked ‘but what about this or that?’ In fact the very thing we would expect today for any inquiry into the nature or veracity of something. And so this Blog will attempt to do that. Examine and question things from the standpoint of an opposer or a prosecuting attorney.